NFC North: Kellen Clemens
|AP Photo/Reed Saxon|
|Which rookie quarterback is under more pressure to succeed in 2009: New York's Mark Sanchez or Detroit's Matthew Stafford?|
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert and Tim Graham
With nothing better to do during the NFL's dog days of July, two of our division bloggers hopped on the phone this week to debate which rookie quarterback faces more pressure this season: the Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford or the New York Jets' Mark Sanchez.
The NFC North's Kevin Seifert and AFC East's Tim Graham considered the issue from a number of perspectives, including:
- The 2009 expectations for each team. (Detroit: Win some games. New York: Win some playoff games.)
- The contracts each player signed. (Stafford: Biggest in draft history. Sanchez: Biggest in Jets draft history.)
- Each team's alternatives at quarterback. (Detroit: Daunte Culpepper. New York: Kellen Clemens.)
- The urgency for each player to start right away. (Stafford: Moderate. Sanchez: Mandatory.)
Graham suggested the Jets will follow the Joe Flacco model that coach Rex Ryan witnessed last season in Baltimore. Seifert questioned whether Sanchez is as NFL-ready as Flacco. To which Graham responded with a vague insult of Flacco's foundation -- constructed mostly at the University of Delaware after transferring from Pitt -- relative to Sanchez's grooming at USC.
Listen to the podcast for all of the spice and color you've grown to love from Double Coverage -- and to discover the surprising conclusion we reached.
ESPN's Marcellus Wiley and Mike Golic also weigh in on the topic.
"Given the sensitivity or the high profile of Brett Favre's name, I felt like this was a fairly unique situation, that I wanted to be proactive just so they heard from me first," Tannenbaum said today. "Ordinarily, I wouldn't try to address every rumor with every player."
Tannenbaum was cryptic about what they actually discussed, but what news would Pennington and Clemens need to hear directly from him?
Either the Jets are pursuing Favre, or they're not.
If they weren't, there would be no reason to keep that secret.
Pennington indicated something -- at least preliminarily -- was afoot.
"I did speak to Mike after practice, and he just let me know exactly what the situation was, that they received a call," Pennington said. "That's what I know. Other than that, I really do not have any feelings on it at all.
"I feel very confident about how I'm playing and how I'm developing as a quarterback and trying to get better. Other than that, it's nothing to me."
Perhaps today's developments should mean something. To hear Tannenbaum speak about Pennington, one would get the impression he's already out the door.
"He's a great guy," Tannenbaum said. "He's won playoff games here. I have nothing but all the respect in the world for Chad and his work ethic. He always works on his craft.
"We just had another conversation this afternoon because I felt like that was the appropriate thing to do as the general manager of the team."
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
The idea of Brett Favre slinging footballs for the New York Jets elicited a very distinct reaction this afternoon throughout the AFC East.
Awwww. Please tell me you're kidding.
No, we're not.
As ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported today, the Green Bay Packers have given the Jets permission to speak with Favre. The Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers reportedly want the record-setting quarterback, and the Packers appear ready to trade him.
Suffice to say, the rest of the AFC East likes its chances against either of those two.
The dynamic would change radically with Favre in green and white.
As one AFC personnel man told me, it's too difficult to predict how Favre would benefit the Jets because his impact would rely on many moving parts. How fast does he learn the system? How quickly does he find chemistry with his receivers? How does he handle new surroundings -- and what certainly will be a relentless media -- after so many years in a homogenous setting?
But one thing opponents can be sure of: Favre's vertical ability would transform the Jets enough to make defensive coordinators squirm. No more touch-and-feel Pennington plays. No more safe calls because of Clemens' inexperience and questionable decisions.
Favre's presence would remove the handcuffs. The card offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer holds on Sunday would look a whole lot different.
But would trading for Favre be a wise choice for the Jets?
The Jets would be making a substantial commitment to a player who can help them win now but won't be a part of their future. They would be asking an awful lot of an aging player -- one who already has retired once, mind you -- and asking him to rally a group of teammates he has never played with.
That might be too much to ask on a team with so many question marks.
The trade might not work, but the mere possibility Favre could join the Jets has created plenty of dread within AFC East offices.
When was the last time a Jets quarterback did that?